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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final blog: Colton Parayko

Blues defenseman shares mindset entering Game 7 at Bruins

by Colton Parayko / Special to NHL.com

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko will be keeping his own blog throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. He will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.

Parayko leads all skaters with an average ice time of 26:51 per game in the Cup Final heading into Game 7 against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

In Parayko's 11th entry, he talks about the Blues practice in Boston on Tuesday and how he will spend the hours before Game 7.

We just got off the ice here, we feel good, just getting here and coming back to Boston. It's obviously an exciting time for our group. We're just trying to make sure we go out and have a good practice today and kind of feel good and get ready for the next one in Game 7. 

 

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It's the one we're all looking forward to now, it's exciting for our group. It's a big opportunity for us. It's what we all dreamed of as kids, what we all want to do, so we're in a good position. We're going to enjoy the process, enjoy the time together, come together and make it happen.

Growing up, I played Game 7 in my mind everywhere. When it was too cold or raining, we'd go inside and play mini sticks, and if not, we're in the driveway shooting pucks against the garage door. I got the garage door a little dinged up in my early days and my parents weren't too happy. If we weren't there, then we were at the outdoor rink in the winter after school or whatever. It was pretty close to my house, so whenever we had the opportunity, we were pretty much there every day. I would be whoever was in the playoffs at that time. You name it, it was pretty much anyone I grew up idolizing.

We were in last place in January and then we kind of switched over, but I think as a group we don't rely on that, and we don't really think about that situation. I think that just showed the character that we have and the players we have in the locker room that we were able to focus in on one game at a time to turn it around, and I think that is kind of the same with what we have going on now is that one game at a time from playoff game No. 1 all the way to right now to Game 7 of the Final.  

Video: It All Comes Down To This. Game 7

The playoffs are one of those things where different things happens, bounces happen, there are so many different factors of the game, every little mistake and every little play that gets magnified that much bigger. We took it one game at a time, climbed our way back in and took that approach in the playoffs. One game at a time, make sure we stay focused. Not too high, not too low.

You're going to win some big games, you're going to lose some big games, and you have to find that happy medium of staying in the moment and staying in the process and not letting things you can't control harm your play or affect the way you play. But we're excited to take this opportunity. It's a special moment for all of us. You might be nervous at the very beginning or for the first few shifts, but I think once you get out there for a few shifts you realize it's still hockey and everyone is going to be battling at the next level. 

It's going to be tough tonight not thinking about the game. As a player you want to get the game going and from a competitive standpoint, everybody is excited and wants to get the game going because this is a big game for everyone and I think that's what makes it exciting, what makes it fun for us players. I will just try to relax, take some time in the hotel, spend some time with the guys. It's nice that we're on the road. We get the chance to take some time with the guys, just bond a little bit. Obviously, we can be around each other and enjoy some time together, and hopefully get some good rest early on, get to sleep early. 

Tomorrow is game day and it's nice because it goes by so quick. You come to the rink in the morning, do your morning skate, go back to the hotel, have lunch and go have a quick nap and then you're back for the game and before you know it, it's here. It's exciting that way that it's almost here. I'll try to do some stuff to keep my mind off it, but it's human nature and it will be tough to not completely deviate away from thinking about it.

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Listen: Game 7 preview from NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

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